It appears the Bread Man will be… 😎… pressing his paninis in a different city soon.
Monday, Artemi Panarin’s agent, Dan Milstein, notified the Columbus Blue Jackets that his client, a pending unrestricted free agent on July 1, has no interest in talking about a new contract until after the season.
“We have informed the team that we are willing to discuss Artemi’s future after the season,” Milstein said. “Our priority now is to focus on the rest of the season, trying to win a Stanley Cup for the Columbus Blue Jackets and their fans.”
According to The Athletic, Milstein let general manager Jarmo Kekalainen know while the GM was in a meeting with the club’s ownership.
Statement about Artemi Panarin’s future “We have informed the team that we are willing to discuss Artemi’s future after the season. Our priority now is to focus on the rest of the season, trying to win a Stanley Cup for the CBJ & their fans”. No additional comments will be made..
— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) January 28, 2019
Rumors that Panarin would not consider signing an extension first surfaced in June via Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. The Blue Jackets reportedly tested the market during the NHL Draft.
From @FriedgeHNIC's 31 thoughts today…
"14. Draft rumblings were that Artemi Panarin’s preferences (in no particular order) are Los Angeles, New York and Florida."
Noooo Artemi – you want cheesesteaks!
— Dan Silver (@dsilver88) June 25, 2018
“Our priority is to get him signed and we’re working on doing everything we can to keep him in Columbus,” Kekalainen said in June to NHL.com. “He’s a great player, and we also love him as a player and a teammate. I have nothing but good things to say about Artemi.
“I never rule out anything,” Kekalainen continued. “[Wayne] Gretzky got traded. I know it’s a cliche that’s been used before, but if someone throws something at us to make our team better in the long run and makes our organization stronger, we have to listen and look at it.”
The Blue Jackets later offered a longterm contract to Panarin over the summer, but, according to The Athletic, it was “dismissed out of hand” because the Russian couldn’t commit to staying Columbus. Friends say Panarin has interest in playing in a major city.
Panarin’s close friend, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, is also an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. The Vezina Trophy winner is in the final year of a four-year, $29.7 million contract.
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A post shared by Sergei Bobrovsky (@sergeibobrovsky) on
Last month, Bobrovsky was pseudo-suspended for a game due to failing to meet team culture and expectations. In an interview with media later, Bobrovsky would not comment on if he wanted to stay with the Blue Jackets long term.
The third-place Blue Jackets now have a major decision to make. They can keep the core of the team together and go all in for the Stanley Cup — Columbus has never won a playoff series — or they can trade Panarin and potentially Bobrovsky at the trade deadline for young players and future assets.
The Athletic: Artemi Panarin declines to talk contract extension with Blue Jackets before trade deadline, meaning he’ll likely be traded; agent informed club of Panarin’s decision on Mondayhttps://t.co/rYMK6BprfX #CBJ pic.twitter.com/GNHrUqGRWa
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) January 29, 2019
"I think there are times in your franchise's existence where you have to say: 'Screw it, I'm all in'."@FriedgeHNIC on the #BlueJackets' decision to hang on to Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin this season @BradyandPrice #NHL.
— Sportsnet 590 The FAN (@FAN590) January 11, 2019
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